The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth

Title: Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth aka Shinseiki Evangelion: Shi to Shinsei
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Gainax/Production IG
Format: Movie; 107 minutes.
Dates: 15 Mar 1997

Synopsis: In order to prevent a cataclysmic disaster predicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls, mankind has built up powerful humanoid weapons known as the Evangelions. Three teenagers are now given control of these Evangelions so that they can combat the Angels that plan to destroy humanity.

The Highlights
Presentation: Succinct.
Characters: Provide the focal point of the movie.
Animation: Largely reused from the series.

Amidst the hellfire anger of the rabid fan base, Anno Hideaki finally gave into the cries for a more adequate ending to the smash hit series, Neon Genesis Evangelion. He, thus, began work on a movie that would essentially replace the original conclusion, a supposed true end of the franchise. Knowing this, you should not see Evangelion: Death & Rebirth as a single, standalone production, but rather a junction between the television series and the grand finale, End of Evangelion.

Death & Rebirth is best described as a condensed retelling of original show followed by sneak preview of the final movie. For those who still have the television series fresh in mind, this movie serves little purpose and is best avoided as a lengthy recap. For those who have not seen the show for several years, this movie serves as an intriguing reminder.

Befitting of a movie, production values remain high throughout. While much of the animation is directly lifted from the television series, several scenes have been completely redrawn. Much like the original, the music is euphonious, the sound effects are sharp and the seiyuu treats the audience with a performance of a lifetime.

Due to the shortened length, a good deal of story is omitted and the character development is cut down to the bare essentials. The overall organization of the movie is relatively chaotic, but is not without meaning. Paying no heed to chronology, Death & Rebirth is obviously not designed to be an introduction to the franchise, but merely a refresher. Only those with previous knowledge can catch onto the fast-paced highlights in the movie.

While Death & Rebirth does help bridge the one year gap from the television series to the final movie, it is little more than a brief collection of snippets from the original anime. This movie may still appeal to hardcore fans, but for the rest of us, it’s not worth the trouble. With both the original series and the End of Evangelion readily available in the market, this movie has served its purpose and should be pushed aside into obscurity.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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